Farm to Fork dinner pairs ag experts with grocery buyers

Lisa Depies
A banner is ready for the Henry County Farm Bureau Education Committee’s upcoming Farm to Fork meal. The three-course meal is designed to foster 
conversation between food consumers and food producers.

Members of the Henry County Farm Bureau’s Education Committee want to “cultivate conversations” between those who buy food and those who grow food.

“Our goal is to empower consumers when they go to the store. We don’t feel like one method of farming is better than others, but we do feel nobody should be scared about the food they’re buying,” said Megan Dwyer, co-chairman of the Farm Bureau’s Education Committee.

A special Farm to Fork dinner will be Friday, Aug. 4 at Jon and Kim Chamberlain’s farm in rural Geneseo. Tickets for the meal are $5 each and are available at

“Guests can arrive at 5:30 p.m. and will have the chance to socialize, look around the farm, interact and have appetizers,” said Dwyer.

The social hour will be followed by a three-course meal prepared by chef J.R. Greenwood of Maple Street Grill.

“Guests will be seated at round tables and will be joined at the dinner by ag experts and advocates. It’s designed to be a low-key discussion about hot-topic food issues such as antibiotics, hormones and GMOs,” she said.

Last year, the Farm Bureau Education Committee joined together with the Quad City Moms Blog to host a family evening at the Chamberlain farm.

“It was an opportunity for families to come out and see what a farm looks like today,” said Dwyer.

While that event had more of a child-friendly approach, the upcoming Fork to Farm dinner is for adults only.

“Jon and Kim have an old barn on their farm that they’ve used for wedding receptions and formal events. The dinner will be an elegant event — like an upscale wedding reception,” said Dwyer.

Chef J.R. Greenwood will conduct a demonstration around his main course. Attendees will be provided with recipes so they can recreate the meal at home, said Dwyer.

“We’re working to source several of the ingredients locally and will highlight those as part of the dinner,” she said.

“The meal they’ll get for $5 is astonishing,” said Dwyer.

The evening will include wine and Geneseo Brewing Co. beer.

Though last year’s event targeted members of the Quad City Moms Blog, this year’s event is geared toward “the main grocery purchaser of the household” said Dwyer.

Members of the Cambridge High School FFA chapter will attend in their official FFA dress uniforms and help serve the meal.

“We hope having the FFA members there will help showcase them as a professional young group who are serious and passionate about the future of agriculture,” said Dwyer.

Members of the Farm Bureau’s Education Committee are looking foward to the Farm to Fork event.

“We’re optimistic that it’s going to be a success, and we’re hoping to see a lot of buzz generated about the event,” said Dwyer.

The Chamberlain farm is located at 17452 Osco Road, in Geneseo.